OMUTHIYA - The owner of Endombo compound in Tsumeb, Cristo Groenewald, says if the government is willing to offer him a good price, he can let go of the property and halt plans to execute the eviction order as granted by the court.
Groenewald told New Era in an interview following the adoption of a National Assembly motion, championed by Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani, who requested for the piece of land to be expropriated with fair compensation.
In return, Groenewald said, it will all depend on the offer and he has the right to decline, as he legally owns the property.
The Endombo property has been a contentious issue between tenants and the owner over the past few years, with residents bemoaning high rental prices, while claiming the property is dilapidated.
Monthly rental varies from N$350 to N$2 500, depending on how big the room is. Endombo belonged to TLC through Ongopolo mining company before its closure, where Groenewald was the property manager.
Some properties were then sold after that. The unresolved issue forced Groenwald to seek an eviction order after some tenants opted not to pay rent for the past three years in protest of high rental costs.
Close to 300 people are affected by the eviction order.
It is this order that prompted PDM’s reaction, including seeking support from parliamentarians to find a solution.
Venaani proposed the government expropriates the land on which Endombo is built to make way for a social housing programme for the residents.
Meanwhile, Groenewald expressed disappointment in the manner the government resolved to expropriate the land without officially informing him.
“It is the politicians and their people that made this situation impossible for authorities to resolve after being influenced by a certain group. How can the government use the word expropriation? It is not a good term to use after they have failed to engage me,” he lamented.
“Anyhow, if the government is giving me a fair price, I will not have a problem to let go, but if it is not a fair offer, then they should forget [it]. This is duly my property, where people have deliberately decided not to pay rent; I have my right and that is why I approached the courts to assist.”
In addition, he accused police officials of being hesitant in assisting the messenger of court in executing the order, arguing it is because they are influenced.
“This building is in a good state and safe; maybe it only needs some paintings here and there. So, its naïve of one to say the place is dilapidated when I continuously do maintenance. In addition, these people have all services such as prepaid electricity, cleaning services and maintenance staff to fix any defects, as well as free water,” he further stressed.
2020-02-24 07:32:03 | 1 months ago